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Does Phoenix need a sports and events commission? Tourism nonprofit thinks so

Downtown Phoenix
Julie Levin/KJZZ
Downtown Phoenix.

Phoenix leaders will be asked to approve nearly $250,000 to form a sports and events commission. Supporters say among its peer cities, Phoenix is the only one without a commission focused on events.

“Here in Phoenix, there’s a little bit of, which door do I go in when I want to bring my event to Phoenix,” Mike Hopper, sports consultant with Bloomberg Associates, recently told council members.

In pitching the idea, Hopper said a commission would make the door clear to event planners and the responsibility clear to the city.

“Who is responsible for bringing these events into the city who's responsible for ensuring that they deliver the economic and social impacts,” he said.

Hopper told the city’s economic development subcommittee the commission could recruit and grow events like youth amateur sports tournaments, which can bring in thousands of people.

Ron Price, president and CEO of Visit Phoenix, said events could be held across the city.

“We have great parks and rec facilities as well, so if we can bring in certain tournaments, traveling tournaments that can take place at Reach 11, for example, and that's new to us, not something we already have," Price said.

If the council approves, the money will go to Visit Phoenix, which would establish the commission and hire an executive director with the expectation of booking at least two major sporting events within three years.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.